Salesforce opens up Lightning Bolt portal templates for specific business needs
The new offerings build on last year’s launch of its Community Cloud template.
Salesforce has added bolts to its Lightning.
Last year, the company released generalized self-service portal templates using its Community Cloud, for businesses’ customers, partners, and employees.
The templates were built with the company’s Lightning framework. Lightning enables portals for web and mobile apps to be readily assembled via the use of drag-and-drop functional components, like an organizing tool for community events or the ability to share files among a team.
Nearly a thousand Lightning communities were created by businesses with these templates. European telecommunications firm Sky, for instance, created a community of its users, while Unilever employed it for Employee Communities that spanned brands.
Salesforce says its research shows that, for such uses as case resolution, employee engagement, partner sales, and customer satisfaction, online communities can boost performance by 40 or more percent.
Now, Salesforce has launched the next phase of portal templates, called Lightning Bolt.
A componentized portal building tool was made available to ten Salesforce partners — including Accenture, Deloitte, and Cognizant — to create a dozen business-specific portal templates that include built-in logic and workflow, like recommendation engines, e-commerce, and case management. Like the original templates, these are integrated out-of-the-box with Salesforce’s popular customer relationship management (CRM) system and with the Community Cloud, and can be connected via API to other systems.
The new Lightning Bolt templates include:
- an insurance company community for its agents;
- a store operations platform for internal communications;
- a B2B e-commerce community between sales reps and suppliers;
- a community of customers and partners for manufacturers;
- a portal for patient health;
- a chatbot that connects retailers with customers, partners, and employees;
- access to customer information and purchase history by retail store managers.
In each case, the design, functions and business logic has been tailored for that specific business need. Salesforce’s AppExchange will now host a new Lightning Bolt category so more partners can build, market, and sell other portal templates.
SVP Mike Stone told me that about 60 percent of the Bolt portal templates “are ready to go.” The others can be customized by businesses working with the original partner-creators, or through their own developers.